#praiseyourpet with petplan;

The Big Man. Biggie. Mr Bigs. Bigzilla. The Dude. And sometimes, when Stringer isn’t listening, Olly Purrs.

Do I have to say his name?

Big Man in a bow tie

Just like parents, us pet people would happily talk for hours about what makes our furry pals so special – so when Petplan’s pet insurance gave me an excuse to do just that as part of its #PraiseYourPet campaign I jumped at the chance.

The Big Man is a very special cat. He loves long naps, drinking from the tap, cardboard boxes, chewing on plastic wrap – and prawns. Especially prawns. And stealing prawns intended for his sister. He hates getting picked up, unless it’s by Stringer who he has decided is categorically his “person”. He knocks things over and falls off of things a lot, but it’s not his fault – he’s just big-boned. He is not afraid of cucumbers.

The Big Man and his person

The Big Man and his person

But there’s another reason that I was determined to participate in this campaign, and it’s one that PetPlan had no idea of when it first reached out to me. About two years ago, during a routine vet appointment, we discovered that Biggie had a pretty significant heart murmur. He needed a really expensive scan immediately, and is now on daily medication (which is why the prawns come in handy). Our vet actually said that she would understand if we didn’t want to go through with the scan, but thanks to our PetPlan Covered For Life policy we didn’t even have to think about it.

Covered For Life is, I think, unique to PetPlan and means that long-term and lifetime conditions are covered for as long as the policy is in force. Our premiums have barely increased in the three and a half years that we’ve been customers with them, and our vet bill claim limit re-sets each year. Plus in many cases, PetPlan settles directly with the vet meaning you only have to worry about your excess – although on those occasions when we’ve had to pay up front they’ve had the balance back to us within a week or so.

Scooter and Biggie, post-diagnosis

Not long after his diagnosis, Biggie’s sister Scooter nuzzles his heart better

I firmly believe that pets with lifetime health conditions are some of the most special pets of all and it’s certainly given us plenty of laughs we’d never have got otherwise: from the first time I picked up the Big Man’s beta blockers from a high street branch of Boots (they printed his name on the medicine label and everything), to the daily ‘prawn dance’ – and the woe betides us that occurs if we don’t get out of bed early enough on the weekends to deliver the daily treats. Have you ever watched video of a Venus fly-trap? Substitute the plant for ginger jowls and the fly for my fingers and you get the picture.

Given his tendency to fall asleep in the most ridiculous of positions, as if dropped from a great height, I do spend way more time checking to see if Biggie’s wee chest is moving up and down than I would if I had a healthy cat. But I wouldn’t trade him – or his sister – for anything.

Have you got a pet to praise? #PraiseYourPet with Petplan and you could win great prizes. Enter via the widget below, on the Petplan website or by tweeting a picture of your pet using the campaign hashtag. I can’t wait to see.

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DISCLAIMER: This post is a collaboration with Petplan, but all opinions are honest and unbiased (I’m also genuinely a Petplan customer and love them). See my full disclosure policy.